Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO: 'Android has a patent fee. It's not like Android's free. You do have to license patents.'
Microsoft has announced that two more OEMs have signed a patent license agreement to allow them to load Android onto smartphones and tablets without fear of litigation.
The two companies are Acer and ViewSonic. The announcements are pretty basic:
"We are pleased that [INSERT COMPANY NAME]is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android's IP issues," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. "This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property."
The only difference between the two deals is that the the ViewSonic announcement has this little addendum:
Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from ViewSonic under the agreement.
No mention is made of a royalty with respect to the Acer deal.
Microsoft feels it is owed money from Android, and it's collecting.